Archive for science

I Swoon for You, Mr. Balloon Man!

Posted in Goof & Glamour, I Heart Tricksters, Mythos, Technicolor Pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2010 by alphabetfiend
The lo-fi cult band Dead Moon has a song/line which I consider to be the ultimate profession of love. Fronted by a real life couple with a long-last love story, Dead Moon knew a little something about affection.

 “I wanna live these times with you,” they sang, all throaty and jubilant and UP for whatever these times are up to.

Is there anything more loving than that, to want to live these times with someone worthy of the times and to say it just that simple? I wanna live these times with you. Cause these are exciting times and you, well, you make ’em even better. I strive to be a perfect(ish) playmate for these times and part of that is simply wanting to live them out. (It should be obvious, I know.)

There’s more to it. For me, these times have unique and interesting challenges…

    searching out shamanism in the modern (not new) age

           coaxing out the reluctant beauty in technology

                 running away to join a secret circus amid the ennui

                     finding diamonds in the dirt and heroes in the everyday. 

And today’s hero cum steampunk cum cloud shaman cum soaring circus clown is an American named Jonathan Trappe. Yes, America, Goof Bless.

Awaiting the scissors...

Jonathon Trappe wanted to fly. Oh, he flew! Jonathon Trappe wanted to be the child with a rainbow of hues tied to his wrist, taken along on an adventure by a bobbing bouquet of balloons. To be carried up up away like the old man in the movie. To drift along dream-like, a one-man Cloud Seed Carnival. Oh there were rainbow hues and bobbing balloons aplenty. Close to sixty, in a range of birthday party shades. Up? Check. Away? Check. Over the English Channel? Check.

That’s right, Mr. Trappe fulfilled his dream of flying 22 miles across the English Channel in a contraption that looks like it was parked by the half-eaten cake in Uncle Trappe’s back yard before it began to rise up over the smoky bar-b-q.

Hoisted by 57 helium balloons, Jonathan, 37, was comfortably aloft in a custom-chair as he floated across the world’s busiest shipping lane from England to France. Wow. Brings to mind those old steampunkish illustrations of hot air balloons set against the hustle & bustle of the modern age.

The American dare-devil reached over 7000 ft during the cluster-balloon flight, which was called “a goofy, yet mesmerizing stunt,” by The Hindu

Some folks say he stole the idea from the movie “UP” but this fantasy goes way deeper than than. Although the movie certainly adds to our culture’s interest in balloon-cluster flight.

As if my heart weren’t already aching with little kid wonder, the knife-wielding Trappe (after precise and perfectly timed popping) landed in a freaking cabbage patch. I little-kid you not!

OK… I kid a little…

Watch out for Mr. McGregor! He didn’t like Peter Rabbit playing in his cabbages so I doubt he’ll smile on you. Besides, last I checked the French weren’t too keen on Americans. Freaking “Freedom Fries.” That’s just all kinda wrong. Speaking of wrong, did you hear about Willie Nelson’s run in with the scissors? snip snip. Now listen,y’all, don’t try this shit at home. If you’re gonna cut off your trademark tresses, call a barber. If you wanna sail away in a helium-fuel lawn chair then do like Trappe did and get FAA certified to fly both Hot Air balloons as well as helium-filled “cluster-balloons.” Are you certified to fly giant bubble gum balls like a real-life victim of Willy Wonka? I didn’t think so.

In the mood to hear the 80’s song 99 luft baloons? Me too.

For more info and some gorgeous photos, peek in on Trappe’s site. To watch this suckah move, you should check out some video.

Adventures in Antiquity: 2700 Year Old Weed Stash

Posted in 13254546, Strange Science with tags , , , , , , on December 3, 2008 by alphabetfiend

An old long-haired white guy was found in a tomb with nearly 4lbs of weed — 2700 year old weed. Both are proof that stoners have been around forever! Since the stone(d) age!


The buried bud was found in China and despite being the oldest high-minded cannabis ever discovered, it was still in pretty good shape. It had lost its potent odor but was still plenty green. I’m sure we all know someone who would gladly pack a bowl & smoke it. Those who believe in Morphic Field Theory (freaks like myself) would probably take a puff just to see if it provided any insight into the past.

And what’s with the old long haired white guy? Some things never change!

According to an article titled “The Oldest Dime Bag in the World,” the dude was some kinda shaman, man.

Strangely, though, the bag was buried with a long-haired, blue-eyed white guy, whom researchers believe was likely a shaman of Gushi culture, hailing from Turpan in northwestern China.

I phoned my mom as soon as I heard that archaeologists had found the world’s oldest marijuana stash. She got her degree in Ethno-Botany. When I got to the part about the old hippy-haired white guy she howled with laughter. They coulda smoked those 4lbs and had a hell of a funeral party but nooooo. The Dude was too worried that the after life was gonna be dry — no bounty of skunky green — and was stingy with his stash. I swear I met this guy in Taos. Haven’t you?

Druggie Mummies

Posted in SPOOKY KABUKI with tags , , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Our ancient ancestors liked to party. Fur reals.

Scientists have discovered drugs in the mummified remains of Andean fiends.

Doped up nere-do-wells!

The Mummies -- who are probably high on SOMETHING -- rock out.

Mommy always said those mummies were bad news!  

Discovery News reported on the hard-livin’ debauchery of the olden days.

Andean mummy hair has provided the first direct archaeological evidence of the consumption of hallucinogens in pre-Hispanic Andean populations, according to recent gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. Chemical archaeologist Juan Pablo Ogalde and colleagues at the University of Tarapacá in Arica, Chile, analyzed 32 mummies from the Azapa Valley in northern Chile. Naturally mummified in the Acatama desert, the bodies belonged to the Tiwanaku, the ancestors of the Incas. The little known Tiwanaku established a civilization around 1200 B.C. that prevailed for almost three millennia, becoming one of history’s longest-running empires. At the peak of their power, between 700 and 1100 A.D., they dominated the Andes, controlling large areas of Bolivia and Peru and parts of Argentina and Chile. Their burials often contain elaborately decorated snuffing trays and panpipes.

Drug paraphernalia such as “ceramic snuffing tubes and inhaling bowls” had previously suggested mummy drug use. Those suspicions were verified when the chemical analysis of the mummies “revealed the presence of the hallucinogenic alkaloid harmine.”

“Our  identification of harmine in the hair of these two Azapa Valley mummies is a very important finding. The only plant in South America that contain harmine is the jungle vine Banisteriopsis caapi, also known as ayahuasca. But this plant does not grow in the Azapa valley,” Ogalde said.

The presence of harmine suggests the Tiwanaku travelled in search of exotic hallucinogens, and brought the Banisteriopsisvine from as far as the Amazon rainforest, some 300 miles away.

Who can blame them? I’ve been dying to try ayahuasca. I’d definitely go out of my way for a magic vine and the visions that come with. Hell yea! Take that all you people who are always jabbering on about the ills of modern society and drugs being the downfall of the human race. Sure, Coke-head Jimmy has a problem, I agree. Coke-head Jimmy’s fuckin’ it up for everyone! But humans have been getting high for like EVER.

If you run into a mummy this Halloween, ask him if he wants to smoke a bowl. SPOOKY KABUKI sez “Peace out.”

Ancient man with drug paraphenalia. Yep. I’m fascinated by this tribal-esque psychedelic comic book art.  I can’t seem to figure out who did it. But there’s more of it at If you figure out the artist’s name please let me know.

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